Janney, Block, Hilty Are Just a Step on Boss Man's Ladder in 9 to 5 World Premiere

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
15 Nov 2007

Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block will star in <i>9 to 5</i>.
Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block will star in 9 to 5.

9 to 5, the musical based on the popular workplace film comedy, will have its world premiere at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2008, CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie announced.

Principal casting will include Allison Janney as Violet Newstead, the super-efficient office manager; Stephanie J. Block as the frazzled divorcee Judy Bernly; Megan Hilty as the sexy executive secretary Doralee Rhodes; and Marc Kudisch as their sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jr.

Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Wicked, Assassins) will direct.

As previously announced, seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Dolly Parton has written the music and lyrics for the new musical. She starred as Doralee in the popular 1980 movie.

Patricia Resnick, the film's screenwriter, will pen the libretto.



Center Theatre Group will present 9 to 5 Sept. 3-October 19, 2008, as the first production in the Ahmanson's 2008-2009 season. Opening is set for Sept. 21.

Choreography is by Andy Blankenbuehler (London's Desperately Seeking Susan and New York's In the Heights).

According to CTG, "In a series of farcical events, the women inadvertently remove Hart from the workplace and keep him otherwise engaged. Taking advantage of his absence, they begin instituting a host of new and welcomed office procedures such as flexible hours and day care, but their schemes quickly spin wildly and hilariously out of control."

9 to 5 is presented by Center Theatre Group by special arrangement with Robert Greenblatt under the auspices of a new program initiated by Ritchie, in which CTG "presents original new musicals and large-scale productions through partnerships with Broadway producers." The program recently saw the Broadway transfers of the critically acclaimed presentations of both The Drowsy Chaperone and Curtains.

9 to 5 will feature scenic design by two-time Tony Award winner Scott Pask, lighting design by eight-time Tony Award winners Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, with a costume designer to be announced shortly.

Parton said in a statement, "9 to 5 was my first movie and it was an amazing experience bringing Doralee Rhodes to life. All these years later the story of these three inspiring ladies who stand up against their sadistic boss is still close to my heart. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to write a musical and now I have the chance to not only make Doralee sing, but to bring all of Patricia's wonderful characters to life on stage through music. I think I'm gonna like it around here."

Parton's popular single "9 to 5" from the 1980 20th Century Fox motion picture won an Academy Award nomination. Her new album, "Backwoods Barbie," will be released in February 2008. As previously reported, the title track is a song written for the character of Doralee from Parton's new score for 9 to 5.

Janney is an Emmy Award winner for playing CJ Cregg in TV's "The West Wing." She was Tony Award-nominated for playing Beatrice in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge opposite Anthony LaPaglia. She also appeared in The Public Theater's The Taming of the Shrew in Central Park, and recently starred in the Williamstown Theatre Festival's production of Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden. In 9 to 5, she'll play a character created by Lily Tomlin.

Block's Broadway credits include Elphaba in Wicked (currently on Broadway and previously in the national touring company) and The Pirate Queen. She's playing the role created by Jane Fonda.

Hilty made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked and currently stars in the role in the Los Angeles production.

Kudisch is currently starring in Lincoln Center Theater's The Glorious Ones. His Broadway credits include The Apple Tree, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Tony and Outer Critics nominations), Assassins (Drama Desk nomination) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), among others.

Subscription tickets to the Ahmanson Theatre's 2008-2009 season will be available for purchase in March 2008. For subscription information, call (213) 628-2772 or visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.